WHITEHALL, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – The city of Whitehall was established nearly 150 years ago, and it’s grown from its humble beginnings to become the county seat of Trempealeau County.
“It’s very amazing how this community grew out of a wheatfield in 1874, and it’s all because of the railroad. When you think that Galesville was established in 1854 and we’re here in Whitehall in the center of the colony in 1874, it took them 20 years to get here,” said Linda Mossman.
Linda Mossman has lived in Whitehall for 24 years, saying the city was exactly what she and her family were looking for when moving to a new community.
“We have both the topography of the hills and the valleys or the coolies in the bluffs, so it offers a lot relative to the things that we’ve always enjoyed being outside the nature and then all of the small town attributes.”
One of those small-town attributes is a sense of community pride among residents, which Mayor Jeff Hauser has seen ever since he was first elected back in 2018.
“You know, I see people continually stepping up to get things done. I see, you know, we have an active chamber, an active lions club, and other citizens are just to be willing to step up to pitch it.”
Mossman is one of those community members that’s stepping up to ensure Whitehall’s history is remembered.
As the owner of the oak park inn, Mossman often welcomes newcomers to town, but it was the guests that were returning to Whitehall that sparked the idea of historic preservation.
“People that were coming back to visit mom and dad maybe were in a nursing home, didn’t have a home to live in any longer. We’re coming back for a class reunion. Always told the stories of growing up in whitehall. I would go out and be in a meeting some place, a tourism meeting or some other meeting, and i would start telling the locals about these stories and they’re like, well, no. And i go, yeah, that’s your history,” said Mossman.
Mossman and two other community members went on to create the Whitehall area historical foundation and the group is in the process of planning the city’s sesquicentennial celebration.
The observance will kick off Labor Day weekend, and will run through the fall of 2024.
A variety of activities and events are planned, including historic home tours, a presentation of honor quilts to area veterans, and even a vintage baseball tournament.
Mayor Hauser is proud to be leading Whitehall as the city prepares for such a major milestone and is focused on ensuring Whitehall continues progressing.
“Try to keep up with the infrastructure needs which everyone has and i guess some of the things we look at is, is the employee availability for all of our businesses in our city itself. I’m trying to trying to make sure we can get people and keep good people to do that. Those things.”
Mossman also believes Whitehall is in a great position to stay prosperous for years to come.
“i hope we continue to grow, that our school continues to prosper. We’re very lucky. We have a great school system. Our housing market is held. Our unemployment rate and trump county, I don’t think has ever been over 5%. And we’re on a major highway to I mean, you know, that’s pretty good odds that you’re going to do well,” said Mossman.
For County by County, Alex Loroff, First News at Nine.